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Personal Financial Literacy (PFL) FAQ

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The information below is designed to address ongoing questions related to 2023 WI Act 60 and its implementation.

Curriculum and Instruction

Does the PFL course have to be taught at the 9-12 level?

Is this requirement a stand-alone course or embedded in another course?
Stand-alone credit. The one-half credit must be PFL and not embedded in other courses or counted as other credit types such as social studies or math.

Does this need to be a stand-alone class called "Personal Finance Literacy?"
Personal Financial Literacy is a required stand-alone class as the law reads, "requiring one-half credit of personal financial literacy for high school graduation." The district can decide what to name a course that meets the PFL requirement.

Can multiple half-credit courses be offered in the same school to meet this requirement (for example, one in BIT, one in FCS, one in Econ if they include the required strands)? Or does it need to be one single course that all students take?
Any stand-alone course that meets the six statutorily-required areas (financial mindset, education and employment, money management, saving and investing, credit and debt, and risk management and insurance) may be offered to satisfy the PFL credit requirement. A school could offer courses in different subject departments and students could choose which one best matches their interests to meet the graduation requirement, so long as the course meets all six areas.

If the one-half credit PFL course is taught by an Economics teacher, can that course also count in the student's required Social Studies credits for graduation?
No, a one-half credit PFL course can not count as both a social studies and PFL credit.

Can PFL be a math credit?
No, a PFL course cannot be counted as both a PFL credit and a math credit.

What standards can be used to teach PFL?
Each school district will choose its own PFL standards. A district could adopt the Wisconsin Standards for Personal Finance (2020), use the revised Business and Information Technology standards that embed the 2020 Wisconsin Standards for Personal Financial Literacy, or adopt other personal finance standards that include the six statutorily-required areas in 2023 Wisconsin Act 60.

Teacher Licensing

Which licensed teachers can teach PFL? 
As there is no personal financial literacy license, questions sometimes arise as to what license is required to teach these courses. The answer to this question depends on the personal financial literacy standards adopted by the school district. If the district adopted the Wisconsin Standards for Personal Financial Literacy and the course is built using these standards, then teachers holding licenses to teach social studies1, family and consumer sciences, or business and information technology are qualified to teach because of the connection between their standards.

In reporting staff assignments in WISEstaff, the department requires school districts to report the subject area under which the personal financial literacy course is being taught. The license holder must possess the appropriate license to teach in that subject area. If the educator does not hold the appropriate license, a school district should work with the educator to obtain a license in the appropriate subject area. Educators who already hold a Tier II license or higher may be eligible to add-on a license via a content test, consider a three-year license with stipulations (district-sponsored) pathway to licensure, or consider any of the options available to previously unlicensed educators (see licensing bulletin).

For more information on licensing, including options available to members of the public interested in teaching PFL, see this licensing bulletin.

1 This includes the new social studies license (2700) and social studies licenses prior to the repeal and recreation of PI 34 in 2018 (1710 - economics, 1701 – broadfield social studies, and 1700 – social studies).

General Questions

Does PFL credit requirement apply to private choice schools and independent charter schools?
Independent charter schools and private choice schools are not subject to the requirements of Wis. Stat. § 118.33(1)(a), which includes the PFL credit requirement. The PFL credit requirement does apply, however, to district-authorized charter schools.

How does this impact special populations who may be taking a transition course instead of the general education PFL offering?
With respect to students with disabilities (SWD), the one-half credit PFL requirement should be treated the same as any of the other credit requirements specified for a high school diploma in Wis. Stat. § 118.33(1)(a). In other words, we would generally expect SWD to have the opportunity to earn that credit in the same fashion as non-disabled students but with the provision of appropriate specially designed instruction and special education services. School boards, considering the state standards expressed in the statutes and the administrative code and other DPI guidance, determine which courses offered in their district meet graduation requirements and the number of credits awarded for successful completion of each course. Neither the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) nor Wis. Stat. § ch.115 provides for an exemption from regular diploma course/credit requirements.

Can school districts partner with higher education to offer learning opportunities?
Yes, dual credit opportunities already exist with several UW and WTCS system schools for high school teachers to offer their PFL courses for dual credit. UW-Oshkosh offers Personal Finance (231 - 3 credits) as part of the CAPP program, UW-Whitwater offers Personal Finance 101 online, and several technical colleges offer Personal Finance as a dual credit opportunity for high school students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously.


Jennifer Jackson
Business & IT Education Consultant
(608) 266-2803

Julie Anderson
Family & Consumer Sciences Consultant
(608) 266-7330

Kristen McDaniel
Social Studies Education Consultant
(608) 266-2207

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